Crash Avoidance Systems

Crash avoidance features are quickly making their way into many motor vehicles. Several of the most common new technologies are forward collision warning, autobrake, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, adaptive headlights and blind spot detection.

Forward collision warnings uses radar (all-weather) and sometimes laser and camera (both sensor types are ineffective during bad weather) to detect an oncoming crash. At the point of detection, these systems either provide a warning to the driver when there is an imminent collision or take action independently without any driver input by braking or steering or both.

Some cars that advertise automatic brakes really can stop the vehicle in time to prevent crashes — and there are enough of them presently on the market that many insurance industry safety testers are issuing report cards on them.

Adaptive headlights, or headlights that swivel around curves in response to steering input, allow drivers to spot a hard-to-see object on dark, curvy roads about a 1/3 of a second earlier than they would with conventional headlights, a new IIHS study has found.

Active Blind Spot Monitoring is a monitoring system that uses some kind of electronic detection device(s) mounted on the sides of the car (often near the external rear view mirrors or the rear bumpers) that sends out either electronic electromagnetic waves (usually in the radar wavelengths) or takes computer-processed images with a digital camera and analyzes them.

When one of these detectors notices another car getting too close to your car, it alerts you, usually by flashing a light in the driver’s peripheral vision or by making audible sounds — or often by using both methods, depending on how likely it looks that you’re going to steer your car into the other vehicle. In the most advanced systems, your vehicle might even try to steer itself back into the safety zone of its previous lane.

Lane departure warning systems are a group of safety technologies that are primarily designed to prevent high speed accidents on roadways. There are a few different types of lane departure warning systems, and some of them are more proactive than others. By warning the driver, or even taking automatic corrective actions, these systems are able to prevent many collisions and run-off-road accidents.

Research shows that 90 percent of crashes are caused by human error. That’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and every major automaker are increasingly focusing on systems that allow the vehicle to become a partner in the drive by monitoring a car’s surroundings, warning the driver of danger, and even taking control of the car in some situations.

Overall, advanced safety systems are in their infancy, but are already showing promise in reducing the number of accidents and fatalities on today’s roads.

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury attorney with the primary accident information site on the web, AutoAccident.com.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic injury from a motor vehicle collision or other incident caused by negligence, call me now at 916.921.6400.

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